The college uses an integrated pest management approach for management of all college grounds. No pesticides or fertilizer is used on ornamental plantings. The lawn areas do not use grub control or broadleaf herbicides unless a threshold of pests are documented.
The Environmental Sustainability Committee has replaced the invasive plantings around the Center for Distance Learning with native plants and shrubs. The committee was also instrumental in the creation of a native plant garden around the Long Island Center and the student garden at the Central New York Center.
In 2015 the city of Saratoga launched their centennial tree program, an effort to reshape the vision of Saratoga with large trees in key locations. Empire State College was asked to plant at least three trees in specific locations as part of the overall plan due to our prominent location in the city's landscape. These three trees were planted in the fall of 2015; there locations can be seen on the centennial tree map. Varieties were choses for their historical significance.